One of the greatest gifts we can give our youth is the opportunity for a quality education. In turn, the most effective way to achieve this goal of offering a good education is to have qualified and prepared teachers in the educational work force committed to their profession.

In California, however, there is a growing shortage of qualified teachers. This difference is often felt most in the most challenging districts, with high numbers of students coming from families living in poverty.

New teachers entering the work force also experience significant financial hardships as they are required to enroll in costly induction and professional development programs aimed at converting their preliminary credential to a permanent or ‘clear’ credential, which must be done within five years of earning their preliminary credential. All of this is required of new teachers while they are also still paying off student loans and serving at the lowest end of the salary scales.

AB 586, sponsored by the California Catholic Conference, will lessen the financial hardship of newly credentialed teachers as they participate in earn their clear or permanent credential. This will have the effect of improving teacher retention and professional development, and therefore can be a significant measure in boosting the overall success of California’s K-12 students.

AB 586 will do this by allowing newly credentialed, beginning teachers either an individual tax credit or a deduction for professional development expenses to fulfill the requirements for a California Clear Multiple, Single Subjects Credential or Special Education (Education Specialist Instruction) Credential. These teachers would be able to claim either up to a $500 credit or $2,500 deduction on their personal state income taxes to offset fees incurred toward the completion of an approved Induction Program.

Full story at California Catholic Conference.